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Old 8th November 2007, 09:00 PM   #1
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Default Inside a Grado gold cart

Posting here - maybe some will see this and give me some advice.


I happened to have a microscope home here with me today (borrowed from work, kids science week next week!). So I said I'd take a look at some of the stylus I have for various carts that I've gathered over time./



One of these was a Grado gold which I bought, but never liked. It always sounded a bit dull to me. Now this cart has a good rep, so I was pretty disappointed at the time. So I thought that it would be a good one to have a look at the stylus under the scope, I hadn't used it much. So I pulled the stylus assembly out of the cart and had a look.

I noticed that there was a good amount of black gunk on the back of the stylus housing - where it would back up to the generator coils. Then I had a look at the cart body, and theres an almight amount of the same gunk all over the tops of the generator coils, covering the tops of them.

So I am wondering has anyone else seen this on a Grado? Could this gunk be responsible for the muddy sound?

If it was then I would clean it off and maybe remount the cart - but if it is necessary for the cart to work right, then obvioudsly I don't want that removed.

I know its an oddball one, and not many out there would have a decent quality dissecting microscope with a mag up to 600x, but if there is, would you take a look and report back here!

Fran
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Old 8th November 2007, 09:05 PM   #2
Netlist is offline Netlist  Belgium
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It is there on purpose and should therefore not be removed. I read something about it on the gradolabs site but can't remember the details.

/Hugo
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Old 8th November 2007, 09:45 PM   #3
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Many thanks for the info, appreciate that.

Fran
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Old 8th November 2007, 09:55 PM   #4
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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The gunk is there deliberately and IIRC provides some damping.

I was not a fan of Grado cartridges for a long time, but about 4 yrs ago a friend gave me a NIB 8MR which turned out to be a surprisingly good cartridge. I recently upgraded to a Reference Platinum which is a substantial improvement over the 8MR or its successor the Gold.

I noticed in the case of both these cartridges that HF performance is strongly dependent on getting the VTA in an acceptable range for the cartridge. It can sound rather dull if set incorrectly. My understanding on Grados is that the cartridge face should be perpendicular to the surface of the record to within just a couple of degrees.

Removing the stylus on a Grado may be a high risk activity - I have run across more than one person who irreparably damaged the cartridge particularly if the stylus removal tool was not used exactly as intended.
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Old 8th November 2007, 10:01 PM   #5
Illusus is offline Illusus  Canada
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Long story short, don't remove it. It's a damping gunk.

I removed the gunk out of mine a long time ago and found that the cart sounds a little better with it in, I replaced it with bees-wax. Sound was about the same as with the factory stuff but gave me the cool satisfaction of having a modified cart ... if you already don't like the sound remove the gunk and maybe it'll sound better to you, and you'll be able to tell your friends about the clever modification you performed... go on and on about the positive results due to the calculated resonances, or some junk.
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Old 8th November 2007, 10:02 PM   #6
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Does that mean I can say its FOTM!!!

please please pleeeeeaaasseee!

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Old 8th November 2007, 10:07 PM   #7
Illusus is offline Illusus  Canada
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Oh, I did, however, find that the Grado sounded much better to me naked (not me! the cart), with the metal shell and the little logo facia removed I heard some extra detail and air in the music, especially after listening to it for a few weeks. I gained a little more by gluing in the stylus carrier to the body, I think I may have voided the warranty
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Old 8th November 2007, 10:14 PM   #8
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Illusus
Oh, I did, however, find that the Grado sounded much better to me naked (not me! the cart), with the metal shell and the little logo facia removed I heard some extra detail and air in the music, especially after listening to it for a few weeks. I gained a little more by gluing in the stylus carrier to the body, I think I may have voided the warranty

One of the nice things about the reference series is the wood body which is open on the bottom, and the fact that like MC cartridges the cantilever is directly attached to the generator assembly. (Also means stylus replacement is a factory deal only.)
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Old 8th November 2007, 10:22 PM   #9
Illusus is offline Illusus  Canada
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Hey, what's up with Music Maker cartridges?! 1200 pounds for a modified Grado prestige? Can someone explain?
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Old 8th November 2007, 11:12 PM   #10
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Now, that would be interesting to see inside!


As an aside, I do consider it bad value compared to say a Denon DL110. I must hook up the grado, make sure its running OK and sell it.

Fran
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